Concerned About the Drop to 700

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) questioned what has changed since Gen. James Cartwright, now Joint Chiefs vice chairman and formerly head of US Strategic Command, said nine months ago he would be “very concerned” over taking the Triad below 800 delivery vehicles. At the April 22 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Gen. Kevin Chilton, current STRATCOM boss, responded, “Time has passed since General Cartwright testified, and we had the opportunity to do a lot more analysis during this time period.” Chilton said that it made “sense strategically” to settle on 700 delivery vehicles and added that even “at lower numbers, the Triad will still be a viable and important area.” He also confirmed, “What we negotiated [in the new START] is absolutely acceptable” to STRATCOM “for what we need to do to provide the deterrent for the country.” (Also see Chilton’s written testimony)